Technical glitches in BMTC’s pass system causing jams

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) sells about 54,000 daily passes every day and 75% of these are sold during the morning peak hours.

The BMTC's move to shift from pre-printed daily passes to paper ones issued on board has led to traffic jams. Technical issues in printing the passes have made conductors stop the bus, blocking vehicles on narrow roads.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) sells about 54,000 daily passes every day and 75% of these are sold during the morning peak hours.

Previously, conductors used to bring pre-printed passes from the depot and sell it to the passengers on demand. Two months ago in order to save printing cost and also to standardise the daily pass revenue, the corporation decided to do away with this system.

The passes are now printed on electronic ticketing machines (ETM) where the conductors have to feed the last four digits of the passenger’s identity card, ranging from Aadhaar to EPIC cards.

Conductors have welcomed the initiative as the system has eased the daily accounting process.

“Earlier, failure to return the unsold passes would cost us Rs 70 for each. I have paid from my pocket several times to cover the charges. In the new system, the entire data is in the ETM which has made our job easy,” a conductor on a bus plying towards Mysuru Road said.

Complications

However, he added that glitches in the ETM sometimes derail the smooth process.

“The ticketing machine gets stuck, especially in the busy hours. So I will have several passengers waiting for the pass and can’t allow the bus to move further as carrying ticketless passengers will invite trouble,” he said.

Another conductor said the very process of feeding the numbers from identity card was tedious.

“In the morning hours, we are forced to pull away from the station in Majestic. There will be five to 10 passengers seeking daily pass. The process takes at least five minutes and stopping the bus anywhere will invite the wrath of those stuck behind the bus,” he said.

The situation gets worse on narrow roads near Shivajinagar, Mysuru Road, Yashwanthpur, Malleswaram and Vijayanagara areas.

Sources in the BMTC said the problem was due to glitches in the ETM software.

“Updating 11,000 ETMs is a long-drawn process. The system will be streamlined in the next two months,” the source said.

N V Prasad, BMTC Managing Director, said he has taken note of the problem and would talk to officials to find a solution.

“Traffic in the morning peak hours should not be affected for any reason. I will look into the issue,” he said.

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Technical glitches in BMTC’s pass system causing jams

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